Rand Paul, Mike Lee rip administration over 'insulting and demeaning' Iran briefing
Senate confirms 13 Trump judicial nominees in end-of-year sprint
The Senate confirmed more than a dozen Trump judicial picks this week as the chamber raced to wrap up its work for the year.
The Senate confirmed one of the judicial nominees on Wednesday and additional 12 on Thursday as part of an hours-long vote series.
"I'm proud that the Senate came together today to confirm more well-qualified nominees and to pass major legislation for the American people," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said after the massive voting streak, which also saw the chamber passing funding legislation.
The back-to-back days of nomination votes brings the total number of Trump court picks confirmed by the Senate to 187, including two Supreme Court nominees.
Republicans have put a premium on confirming Trump's judicial nominees, including setting a record for the number of appeals judges confirmed during an administration's first two years. They confirmed Trump's 50th circuit court nominee last week.
But McConnell has dedicated increasing floor time to the district court picks, as circuit court vacancies have been shored up. In addition to the 13 confirmed this week, the Senate also confirmed eight district court picks in three days earlier this month.
The quick succession of confirmation votes hasn't gone unnoticed by progressive outside groups, who worry McConnell is using the chamber to stack the courts with young, conservative judges. Republicans changed the rules earlier this year so that district court judges only require two additional hours of debate after overcoming a procedural hurdle. Before the rules change they faced up to an additional 30 hours of debate.
"While all eyes were understandably on impeachment, Mitch McConnell's conveyor belt churned out a shocking number of judges this week in what remains the most underrated story of the Trump era," Demand Justice chief counsel Christopher Kang said in a statement.
The 12 district court nominees confirmed on Thursday were Anuraag Singhal for the Southern District of Florida, Karen Marston for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Daniel Traynor for the District of North Dakota, Jodi Dishman for the Western District of Oklahoma, John Gallagher for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Bernard Jones for the Western District of Oklahoma, Mary Vyskocil for the Southern District of New York, Kea Riggs for the District of New Mexico, Robert Colville for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Lewis Liman for the Southern District of New York, Gary Brown for the Eastern District of New York and Stephanie Davis for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Matthew McFarland was confirmed to be a judge for the Southern District of Ohio on Wednesday.